Baratza Vario up close...REAL close - Page 3

Grinders are one of the keys to exceptional espresso. Discuss them here.
IMAWriter (original poster)

#21: Post by IMAWriter (original poster) »

err...this thread concerns the BARATZA Vario (with a Mahlkoenig ceramic burr set), not the Mahlkoenig/Ditting Vario, a MUCH more expensive (and wonderful) grinder. Also, the Ditting/Mahlkoenig is about 5 x's more expensive than the Baratza.
LMWDP #187

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#22: Post by michaelbenis »

Confusingly Rob, the Baratza is marketed under the Mahlkonig brand name in Europe - well in the UK at least.


LMWDP No. 237

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#23: Post by welone »

Thanks for the hint rob - but I'm well aware of that :wink:
I guess that's also why you started calling it 'b-vario' which is IMO a bit insulting.
Here's proof were talking about the same grinder:

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#24: Post by welone »

And as we were speaking of the 'big vario' from Mahlkönig. Vario is only a part of the name there to distinguish between the K30 ES (21 stepped version) and the K30 Vario (stepless version). Maybe it would be easier if people just started talking about a K30 :shock:

IMAWriter (original poster)

#25: Post by IMAWriter (original poster) replying to welone »

Yes, I'm aware of the difference between the 2 "bigger" Ditting/Mahlkoenig's, as, until recently I've lusted for the stepless. Not financially feasible, according to my better half. :lol:
LMWDP #187

IMAWriter (original poster)

#26: Post by IMAWriter (original poster) »

This will, most likely be my final post on this thread (hold your applause), unless prompted. I seem to be bumping myself, not a good sign.
I hope I've been, in some small way helpful, and I've tried to be as even handed as possible.

On to the (final) business at hand.

As I started this thread more as a "pat on my back" for fine-tuning my friend Pete's Vario, (I am decidedly not mechanically inclined) and not as a "Should I buy one?" thread, I'll comment on the "should I buy one?" now.

First, ask yourself (I did), would I actually use the Vario as a multi-purpose grinder? Switching coffee's using the Vario is old school, turn the grinder upside down and gently pat the bottom till all the present bean has been removed.
Grind to purge remnants. Add your "breakfast coffee" whether it be drip, vac/French press and have at it.
As I do recommend the hopper be filled at least 1/4 of the way, as opposed to dosing the grinder per shot, this would be/has been my procedure. Of course, one could just finish what's in the grinder, heck what's a few extra shots before bedtime? :lol:
Not a biggie to me. I have done the dump and fill, and it's all good, as every bean exits, and a quick on/off only spits out about 2 gram at most.

So YES, if I owned a Vario I would use it as a multi-purpose grinder, as I've found the vac grind to be superior to the Maestro and equal to my former SJ (as memory serves), and better at French Press than either. Switching back and forth only wasted maybe 3-4 grams, and that only occurs when going coarse to fine. My experience with Baratza CS (re-my Maestro) was pleasant and prompt, and I believe this certainly would extend to their new flagship, the Vario.

I've elucidated earlier as to my likes and "not-so-likes." No grinder is perfect, but the Vario, at least for me requires less "work-arounds," maintenance, and is certainly less wasteful than many of the usual large heavy metal cast of characters. Sure, there is something about a 30# grinder with decades of excellence that inspires confidence, no getting around that. And yes, there are other grinders, including the Mazzer SJ that can go from an espresso grind to a drip grind just as easily, though occasionally, getting back to the original espresso setting is a bit of guess work. I also found that the wonderful espresso grind from my SJ exceeded the quality of the SJ's drip grind, as the SJ is meant to be an ESPRESSO GRINDER. Again, I mean this NOT as a put down of the SJ, but only as a means of comparison. The SJ is in a class of it's own for workmanship, grind quality and build quality.

However, IMO the Baratza/Ditting Vario's simple, yet precise electronics and GRINDING capabilities, compact size, ergonomics, and quiet operation make it an excellent choice for a centerpiece, all inclusive grinder for the home.
BTW, I like the blue light, what's the big deal? :lol:
LMWDP #187

IMAWriter (original poster)

#27: Post by IMAWriter (original poster) »

Sadly, I will be relinquishing my borrowed Vario by weeks end.
I have truly enjoyed putting it through its paces.
Like any grinder it took a bit of dialing in, especially getting the time versus grind size in order, but once there, I had excellent consistency.
I am SERIOUSLY considering purchasing one, as soon as a couple of clients pay up!
Vario owners comments here would be greatly appreciated.
LMWDP #187


#28: Post by SylvainMtl »

I've had the chance to try a few shots on my Elektra with a Vario today. I was really impressed with the texture from the resulting espresso. The shots from the Vario were almost like butter, it made me think right away that something must be wrong with my SJ!

The mazzer has titanium burrs which have seen around 30 pounds of coffee. But really, I never made espresso with that nice of a texture.

As for the Vario, it was very easy to dial in the grind and like Mark Prince (I think) mentioned in his first look the sliders make it really easy to remember the settings. There was no static, but some small clumping when the left slider was in the top half range, which was too fine anyway for the Black Cat today.

Here's a picture for those interested in size comparison.


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#29: Post by shadowfax »

Sounds like it might be a problem with your Super Jolly. ;)
Nicholas Lundgaard


#30: Post by SylvainMtl »

Yes, at the very least I'll be trying lots of different dose/grind combinations with the SJ over the week-end. I'm really intrigued...